Apple Stock Drops While December Marks the First Growth in the Apple App Store Since June

Apple Stock

According to Morgan Stanley, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store showed a net revenue increase in December for the first time since June, suggesting that there may be an “upside” in its services division.

According to information from Sensor Tower, analyst Erik Woodring, who rates Apple (AAPL) as overweight and has a $175 price target, net sales increased by 1% from the prior year. That would indicate a 2-point increase from November.

An in-depth analysis by Woodring revealed that eight of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) ten largest markets saw improved net revenue growth, including China, where it increased by two points to experience 2% year-over-year growth; Japan, where it increased by one point to experience -19% year-over-year growth; and the U.S., where it remained constant at 7% year-over-year growth.

Casino expansion essentially set the pace, according to Woodring, who also cited simpler comparisons and the Chinese government’s recent granting of gaming licenses as contributing factors.

In the note to customers, Woodring stated, “With figures for the month of December fully finalized, we estimate December quarter App Store net revenue hit $6.3B.” Woodring said that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Services revenue would likely increase 6.7% year over year to $20.8B in the quarter, coming in close to the consensus expectation of $20.9B and above Morgan Stanley’s own projection.

According to Woodring, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) could experience faster net sales growth in each of the upcoming quarters of fiscal 2023 as year-over-year comparisons ease up, consumer purchasing patterns normalize, and the business gains from pricing increases in international markets.

While acknowledging that the worldwide consumer continues to face challenges and that App Store growth is still close to its all-time lows, Woodring continued, “We are delighted to see growth trajectory continuing to improve after bottoming out in September.

Apple Stock Outlook

In Tuesday’s premarket trade, Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) increased by about 1%.

It was reported separately on Tuesday that Apple (AAPL) and its manufacturing partner are nearing full production for their iPhone 14 product line.

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